I love Sacramento and other weekend deets

Have you noticed it seems I’ve taken a little vacay from the kitchy kitch (eeek, sorry) lately? I have, I know, and it’s got me a little down. These past couple of weeks, our dinners have revolved around things like enormous salads, frozen ravioli and scrambled eggs. All delicious, of course, but hardly interesting fodder for a food blog. Which… Which! Makes me positively giddy to announce that today I’m stepping back into the kitchen to test a whole buncha new recipes to share in the weeks to come. There’ll be more sweet potato goodness (as if this and this didn’t already communicate my sweet sweet sweet potato lurve), some smoky black bean action, maybe even – gasp! – a baked good. Like the sweet kind that a normal person might refer to as d-d-d-de-de-dessert. There, I said it. Whoa. And bacon. Of course there’ll be bacon. What kind of swine-snuggling hippie do you think I am!? No offense. I love my veggie babes. In the meantime, while my oven preheats (heh), how bouts we play a little catch-up about my fam-bam weekend in Sacto? Because it was one of those weekends that reminds me how much potential Sac has … Read More

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Apples, Bacon & Balsamic

Gnocchi is therapy. The mashing. The rolling. The shaping. It’s a quiet, process-oriented little task that requires just enough focus to clear the mind of its remaining clutter. Should I be throwing another load of laundry in the wash? Nope – gnocchi. If I get into work early two days next week, will it make up for a Monday out of the office? Shuttup — gnocchi. Really, does no one find it odd that all this airing of dirty laundry just happens to coincide with Emily Thorne’s arrival in the Hamp—gnocchi. See? It purges the crap, I promise you. And yet it doesn’t take the whole darn afternoon. I won’t claim that this gnocchi is authentic or even the best you’ve ever had, but it’s simple, reliable and satisfying. To make it even easier, I baked off a tray of sweet potatoes for lunch earlier this week and just threw an extra in the mix knowing I’d want to make gnocchi this weekend. (Check out my new favorite potato baking method here. It’s a piece of cake, and I swear the potatoes come out more flavorful and evenly cooked than doing them the old fashioned way.) Add an egg, a … Read More

Recipe: Weekday wedding soup with spinach and farfalle

The complete downside of a week as busy as this last one: it ends with me looking like a ratty ol’ rag doll, all saggy button eyes and frizzy yarn hair. Not a good look for a rag doll, and not a good look for me. It also results in next to nil blog posts and but a scant amount of personal time for Hulu’d episodes of Vampire Diaries. Yes, I chose Vampire Diaries over blogging. One requires brainpower, albeit minimal, and one requires little more than eyesight with which to admire beautiful beings getting all scandalous and vampirey. The good side of a week as cray as last week, however: it makes the weekend oh so much more rewarding, and this weekend gets even better because my momma is coming. If you haven’t met my momma, she is half rockstar, half superhero and half wind-up toy. She’s completely generous, thoughtful and full of good intent. Did you say someone misplaced their homeless babushka in the Oak Park suburb of Sacramento? My momma will find her and drive her loopy butt around town until she ends up where she’s supposed to be. What’s that, my momma won the March Madness … Read More

Recipe: Roasted kale pesto

It’s been a bit of a hectic Saturday around here, but I’ve been somewhat lacking on the posts lately, so amidst errand running, actual running, baby showering (which we are running late to as I write this — sorry Em!) and mountain biking expeditions, here is a quick post of one of the recipes I created for Full Circle Farms’ Good Food Life blog a few weeks ago. (By the way, we’re still still receiving our Full Circle shipments, and they continue to impress. This week’s delivery: kale, zucchini, carrots, apples, and pears  — all beautiful and all organic.) Make this simple and hearty kale dish for supper tonight — but first, get out there and make the most of this beautiful day! (Speaking for Northern Californians, here…if you are elsewhere and the weather is not so pleasant, please accept my apologies and my sincerest invitation to get yo butt to CA!) Roasted Kale Pesto with Almonds and Cranberries Cooking time: 20 mins | Serves: 2-3 (great for doubling!) Note: This recipe is the epitome of simple. Ten minutes in the oven is all the time it takes for the kale to take on a robust, nutty flavor that’s a … Read More

Recipe: Spicy garlic noodles (with peas)

Wow, sorry it’s been a while. I seem to have stumbled upon a series of social opportunities this week that took my usual routine of EatCleanBlogBed and chucked it out the window. Happy news is that, while absent, I was off lunching at one of my favorite spots in Sacramento, Magpie (home of the carrot cake cookie!); enjoying course after course of handmade Italian fare at Osteria Coppa with some of my favorite ladies; and enjoying the original jazz tunes of the smokin’ hot Adam Walter Band at the aptly named The Cats tavern in Los Gatos. Who knew there was more to life than sweatpants and Netflix? Ah, the little things. The sad news, unfortunately, is that while this return post is a recipe for, hands down, one of the most adored and frequently enjoyed meals in our house, it’s disappointingly simple. You won’t find any truffle oil, pools of glossy browned butter or fatty pork side here. But oh, this dish brings the flavor. Have you ever heard of the famed Garlic Noodles at the popular restaurant Crustacean (San Francisco/LA)? I won’t use the words dead ringer, but this pasta comes satisfyingly close. This is everyone’s favorite aglio, olio e peperoncino … Read More